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Steppe     BiogeographyEcology ]

Dictionary of botanic terminology - index of names

  Specifically, the temperate, semiarid areas of treeless grassland in the mid-latitudes of Europe and Asia; more generally, any vast semiarid grass-covered plain.  
[ From the Russian word “Step” used to indicate the large expanses of Central Asia.]

World steppes

The Steppe biome is a marginal and more humid variant of the desert that separates it from bordering humid climates, it is a dry, typically cold, grassland that is found in all of the continents except Australia and Antarctica. It is mostly found in the USA, Mongolia, Siberia, Tibet and China. The term is also used to denote the climate or landscape encountered in such regions
Steppes are located away from the ocean and close to mountain barriers, they arte too dry to support a forest but not so dry as to make it a desert. Steppe has warm summers and cold winters. There is often a lot of snow in the northern Steppes.
The Steppe biome is usually found between the desert and the forest. If it got more rain, it would become a forest. If it got less rain, it would become a desert. It is possible to distinguish cool and warm steppes (and deserts) depending on different climatic conditions and latitudes.

 All the Steppes experience long droughts and violent winds. Sometimes the summers are so hot that the grasses catch on fire. That is more dangerous then usual because the grass is so dry that it spreads quickly. Steppe is similar to a prairie, although a prairie is generally reckoned as being dominated by tall grasses, while short grasses are said to be the norm in the steppe. It may be semi-desert, or covered with grass or shrubs, or both depending on the season.







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